SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — With the 2022-2023 flu season underway, health experts said it isn’t too late to get vaccinated against influenza.

Experts at HSHS St. John’s Hospital said flu season typically peaks from December to March, but added that flu season can continue through May. Staying up to date on vaccines is important to keeping individuals, their families and communities safe, the experts said.

“It takes about two weeks for your body to adjust to the vaccine and build up antibodies, so the sooner you get the vaccine the better,” said Dr. Erica Conrad, a family medicine physician. “If you have not received the flu vaccine for this season, now is the perfect time.”

This year, experts are dealing with a so-called “tripledemic” of flu, COVID-19 and RSV. They said that getting vaccinated against one or two of these illnesses will greatly increase one’s chances of starting 2023 healthy.

Established HSHS patients can schedule an appointment to get a flu vaccine by calling their primary care office or visiting their online patient portal MyHSHS. HSHS is also offering walk-in vaccine clinics, with no appointment necessary, at the following locations in Springfield:

  • HSHS Medical Group Priority Care (1836 South MacArthur Boulevard)
    • Seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • HSHS Medical Group Walk-In Lab (2901 Old Jacksonville Road)
    • Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Additional ways to protect oneself from the flu and other winter illnesses include:

  • Staying home and avoiding close contact when sick or around people who are sick
  • Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing
  • Washing hands and avoiding touching the eyes, mouth or nose
  • Practicing good health habits such as
    • Frequently disinfecting items that are frequently touched
    • Staying active
    • Getting enough sleep
    • Managing stress
    • Maintaining a healthy diet